In Bill Robbin’s Food class, we had the pleasure of several lectures with visiting food stylist Claire Stancer. In these demonstrations she gave us various tricks to making certain foods in the market (like Cereal, TV Dinners, Soup and Pasta) look mouth watering delicious in a photograph because we all know it doesn’t always come out of the package looking very appetizing! In each of these demonstrations we were given an assignment to prepare the food per the instructions, photograph them and then prepare the same item again using the methods given during Claire’s lecture. For the first assignment we had to shoot a TV or Frozen Dinner and for the second assignment I chose canned soup. Now to be fair, the soup was not heated up for the initial “before” shot. So it looks pretty gross and heating the food may make it look more appetizing, but where’s the drama in that?!
You may have heard about the age old trick of adding marbles to the bottom of a bowl of soup but there are so many more things to do to make it all look tasty. First of all, you have to sort through many boxes or cans of the product to be able to get the perfect pieces of meat and veggies. And yes, the ingredients must come from the package (no cheating!!). I struggled to find enough mushrooms in the frozen entree that looked good (I wish I could have cheated!). Also each morsel of food needed to be carefully positioned on the plate. There is a lot of work that goes into making the dish look just right.
Thanks again to Bill Robbins and Claire Stancer! And my always awesome shooting partner Cherix Leung for working side by side with me!